Gibraltar and Lena/St. Thomas combined for over 100 points and 900 yards, but the Vikings walked away with a 54-50 victory in Lena Friday night.
It was a tale of two quarters in the first half as the Titans outscored the Vikings 22-7 in the first quarter and even extended it to 30-7 in the opening moments of the second quarter a big reason why was Sam Marquardt who ran for two scores and threw another to Ethan Braley. Even when Braden Kita for Braden Sitte for a long 56-yard score for the Vikings, the Titans' Tyler Shallow answered the bell with a 48-yard scamper of his own.
The Vikings would score the final four touchdowns of the half, sparked by a Kita touchdown pass to Sitte and a special teams miscue by the Titans. That miscue may go down as the play of the game as it turned the momentum in favor of the Vikings. Giuseppe Mercier followed the failed punt attempt with a touchdown on the ground from six yards out to make it a 30-20 game.
Kita would cap off the half with a 45-yard touchdown run and a three-yard touchdown pass to Sitte in the final seconds to send the Vikings to a 33-30 halftime lead.
The Titans and the Vikings would exchange blows in the second half as the defenses played closer to what the rest of the conference has seen all season long. Mercier scored his second touchdown of the game for the Vikings on a 69-yard run. Marquardt was not going to go down quietly as he found a gap and scored on his own rushing play from 39 yards out. Marquardt would score two more times in the fourth quarter in between Kita-led touchdown drives for the Vikings. Kita opened the fourth quarter with a quarterback keeper for the score and capped off the game's scoring with a long 57-yard touchdown pass to Sitte.
Kita went 9-16 for 246 yards and four touchdowns for the Vikings while adding while rushing for another 104 yards and two scores. Marquardt was dynamic as well for the Titans, throwing one touchdown pass and running for another five while accumulating 288 total yards. Head coach Mike Peck said the player of the game might be the player that won't show up in the stat column. He credited Emmett Moroney's play at nose tackle for turning the tide of the game allowing the Vikings to make more plays in the running game while the team was down by multiple scores.
The Vikings return home for their homecoming matchup against Oneida Nation/NEW Lutheran. The United lost to Algoma Friday night at Oneida Nation by a score of 42-24 margin. NEWRadioSportsNetwork.com and 105.1 the GOAT will carry the game live beginning at 6:45 p.m. with the pregame show followed by the opening kick at 7 p.m.